Newcastle are likely to be without midfielder Yohan Cabaye until the New Year after the Frenchman picked up a groin injury in the run up to France’s international friendly with Italy last week.
The 26-year-old missed Newcastle’s 2-1 defeat at Swansea last weekend and now further tests have ruled him out for the rest of this year.
His injury comes as a big blow for Toon boss Alan Pardew who will also lose Cabaye’s central midfield partner Cheick Tiote through his involvement in the African Cup of Nations, compounding the selection headache for the manager.
“It could be we run all the way to the end of January before I have my first team to pick from,” explained Pardew.
“When Cabaye comes back, Cheick will be gone. It is tough for us at the minute.”
Newcastle currently 12th in the Premier League table after a dip in form – they have won just one of their last 7 league fixtures and now, despite a strong start, find themselves in the bottom half of the table.
“Cabaye might possibly have to have a little surgery on that groin. You have seasons when you lose players and you have to be able to cope with it,” he insisted.
Cabaye has become one of the first names on the teamsheet since his arrival at the club in 2011. He’s made 51 appearances for the club and has been a dominant force in the centre of the park for Pardew’s side.
He has also recently made his breakthrough into the France national team setup – he’s made 19 appearances for his country and scored his first goal against the Ukraine in this year’s Euro 2012 tournament.
“If I had everybody available then losing Cabaye would not be such a blow. At the minute we cannot afford to lose anybody,” added his manager.
Cabaye was linked in the summer with a potential transfer to Arsenal who had been tracking his availability to replace Alex Song as their most defensive midfielder. Newcastle managed to hang on to the Frenchman and he’s performed well for the club this season.
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